Relationships : Are Your Standards Too High?

It was a brisk winter afternoon and I was unexpectedly called to meet for coffee with a guy that, for one reason or another, had been in and out of my life for the last five years. Our story has been a confusing one; best defined by an exhausting game of red light, green light. Every time I found myself at the precipice of a committed relationship with him, I would have a strong restraint in my heart, like a glaring sign that read, “DO NOT ENTER”.

But here he was, yet again, reappearing in my life, and I had no idea what to make of it.

In previous relationships, and their respective unravellings, there had been somewhat of a common theme building in my life. And surprisingly it wasn’t the all-too-familiar-feeling that I just wasn’t enough. I’m sure we can all relate to that in some way –not feeling pretty enough, skinny enough, fun enough, and so on.

As I sat there awkwardly sipping my coffee, I was reminded of a feeling that I hadn’t felt in awhile; the one that pulls the rug from underneath you, and stings you deep to your core.

It’s the feeling that you are actually TOO MUCH.

Areas that you had previously identified as a strength, you’re now wondering if they are actually a curse. The areas that seemed to set you apart, and make you unique, are now being called into question.

We all have our unique quirks; things that make us feel intense in different ways. But this was about something different. The thing is, what we value has a way of molding us into the people we are. These values, for the good or bad, create either a positive or negative intensity in our lives. This is where we have a personal responsibility to invest our time, hearts, and energies on the things that will mold us into honorable people.

Clearly, none of us are perfect, but those positive intensities that have resulted from esteeming Godly things in our lives can, to our shock and dismay, end up being despised by a person that we thought might be the “right” person for us.

So, that chilly afternoon I was reminded of a distant but familiar feeling of being just too much. My desire to live honorably was insulting to a person who wanted to skirt around integrity. Although, I now know why he reacted this way, it served as a lesson that I had forgotten. Choosing to live in close proximity with God requires something of us, and it’s incredibly uncomfortable. Light is exposing and transparency before God makes us want to cringe. We can’t hide, everything is out in the open for what it is. But it’s in that space that we can heal, grow, and mature.

Transparency is expensive to our flesh, but it’s rewards far outweigh the cost. It lifts our lives to higher ground, and we begin conducting our everyday lives with integrity, character, and honor.

This is what was too much that day, and many times before. Aside from the quirks and intricacies of my personality that have and could be seen as too much, what was far more hurtful was thinking that the standard of honor I was committed to live by was being shamed. The thing that had cost me so much to live by was not being valued or validated but rather mocked and looked down upon.

In that moment I felt stupid. Like my standards to do things well and right were worthless and vain. The third voice in that conversation was, “can’t you just be less of this and less of that, can’t you just dumb down that part of who you are and your convictions to make this easier for me.”

Ouch.

When the things that cost us so much in order to make us the people we are is despised, it’s shocking and painful. And the temptation is to yield, and try to be LESS in that area to make a relationship work, or make that person feel better about themselves and what they want to do.

But when did we ever win in the end when we lowered our standards, and dumbed down who we are to get what we think we want?

I’m more convinced than ever that the right person will esteem that same standard of honor that I do. Although it is insulting to our flesh to live this way, they will value that for their own lives, as well as in yours, and you won’t have to settle or lower your standard to have them or keep them in your life.

Too often we make compromises because we believe the lie that there are parts of us that are too much, in one way or another. But when those areas that seem to be “too much” are a result of living closely with God, and have cost you something, than it is never something worth compromising.

God desires to give us a wife or husband that we don’t have to lower ourselves for, but would cherish and value the sacrifices we’ve made to be the people we are. They will be thankful that we chose to press in and live close to God’s heart.

My personal admonition to myself and to you is, wait. Wait for the type of person that esteems you, and ALL that you are.

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